Heavy-handed threats’: ‘Scare campaign’ could backfire on Facebook and Google in Australia

Press/Media: Expert Comment


Dr Abas Mirzaei from the Department of Marketing provided comment to The New Daily regarding Facebook and Google's responses to the draft news media bargaining code introduced by the ACCC.

Period2 Sept 2020

Media coverage


Media coverage

  • TitleHeavy-handed threats’: ‘Scare campaign’ could backfire on Facebook and Google in Australia
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletThe New Daily
    Media typeWeb
    Description‘Scare campaign’ could backfire on tech giants
    Google and Facebook’s “scare campaign” against the ACCC code could backfire on them, Macquarie University brand health expert and senior marketing lecturer Abas Mirzaei said.

    “Google and especially Facebook have become the ‘news’ version of Netflix, however the difference is that Netflix is paying for the content it streams, while Facebook and Google are not,” Dr Mirzaei said.

    “It is a long-overdue legislation that has been perfectly summarised by Free TV CEO Bridget Fair, as helping to balance the power.”

    Facebook is “not used to balanced power” and “is already under pressure” after being boycotted by many brands​ “due to their lack of policies preventing hate speech content and misinformation,” Dr Mirzaei said.

    The social media giant “has now become desperate and irrational by refusing to change its habit”, he said.

    “With a lack of clear alternative news platforms, Facebook is hoping that their scare campaign may work, and that the ACCC may revise the legislation,” he said.

    “However, Facebook is turning a win-win scenario into a lose-lose in the short term.

    “While platforms like Flipboard or Apple News will benefit the most in the short run, the mid-term solution to this will be the launch of news applications covering as many outlets as possible.”

    Facebook and Google “not only get to share content for free, but also generate significant profit from advertisers as they gather data and insights from reader’s behaviours”, Dr Mirzaei said.

    “They know they will lose a lot of advertising income as readers migrate to other platforms, but they want to hold on to the monopoly they see around their platforms,” he said.

    “The government and ACCC will stay firm on this and this is the right move. This could and should have been proposed by Facebook themselves – if they were a higher purpose-driven organisation.”
    PersonsAbas Mirzaei